Yala Villa is an appealing game lodge, designed by Sri Lankan architect Channa Daswatte, and has a simple open-plan design consisting of two long verandahs with half walls opening out to the central garden and swimming pool. One verandah houses the living and dining areas and the other has the sleeping accommodation. Interiors have polished cement floors and walls in soothing colours of sandstone and sea green highlighted with dramatic black and white images of Yala’s wildlife photographed by the Sri Lankan owner himself. Yala Villa is ideal for families or friends travelling together and is rented on a bed and breakfast basis. Up to 10 guests can be accommodated here.
Yala Villa has one a/c ensuite bedroom furnished with a double bed fitted with mosquito netting. This bedroom opens out to the living/dining verandah. Typical of Sri Lankan game lodges, there is also a more communal, dormitory-style area with beds for eight more guests in the open-sided verandah furnished with single beds fitted with mosquito netting. Sleeping arrangements in the verandah are basic, but allows guests to be closer to nature. Those wanting more comforts and relative privacy should opt for the a/c bedroom. There is a bathroom in the verandah with two w/c, twin vanities and separate h/w showers that can be shared by all. Overhead ceiling fans help to keep the verandahs cool and airy.
The living area overlooking the swimming pool is equipped with cable TV, DVD player, selection of movies, and board games.The dining area is furnished with a 10 seater dining table. Snacks are also served on the pool deck. Traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, snacks and BBQs are on offer here. Meals can be ordered from the in-house menu. Since Yala is in a remote area, it is best to discuss your meal preferences at the time of booking so that the staff can be better prepared. Guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic beverages. The swimming pool is ideal for cooling off at any time of day. Oil lamps are lit right around the pool at night fall making it quite magical. Yala Villa is staffed with a manager who also does the cooking and housekeeper.
Why we like it
One of the best money-saving options within range of Yala
Yala Villa is located just 15 minutes from the Yala National Park entrance. Yala is located in the deep south and can be accessed via the south coast or the hill country. Tissamaharama, with its ancient temples and lotus-filled lakes as well as the sacred shrine of Kataragama is about 45 minutes from here. The Bundala bird sanctuary is 30 minutes away.